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Unit history help, Infantry RGT's WW1

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Greetings Gentlemen,

I am trying to get some unit information from this document. Where they went, what they did, when they ended their service as this Gentleman was captured by the French and held until 1920!

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated,



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He was a war volunteer in Infanterie-Regiment Hamburg (IR 76). In September 1914, he was transferred to the newly formed Reserve-Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 216 (RIR 216), which was formed by the replacement units of IR 76 and Füsilier-Regiment Nr. 86.

He was deployed with RIR 216 in the fighting in Flanders from 10.10.1914 to 4.11.1914. He was then hospitalized for some reason (no wound is listed for 1914 on your MDB, and he was initially reported as missing in action in the casualty lists, which was later updated to hospitalized). On 15.1.1915 he returned to the replacement battalion of IR 76, and on 19.5.1915 went to the Eastern Front with RIR 267, another wartime reserve regiment. The only combat listed for 1915 is the Battle of Cholm from 7.8.1915-12.8.1915, but there is a note that the list doesn't include all the actions he fought in. If someone has a history of RIR 267, they could probably find a list of combat actions, but I couldn't say which ones he was part of. Since he was commissioned a Leutnant der Reserve on 24.12.1915, at some point before then he would have left the front to attend a reserve officer candidate course. 

For the period from 15.3.1916 to 19.12.1917, he was with the regiment in the positional warfare in the Pripyat Marshes, the large swampy region in what is now Belarus and Ukraine, a region also well-known to students of the Wehrmacht campaign in the USSR in the Second World War. On 27.10.1916, he was named the gas protection officer of the regiment. 

After the Russians were knocked out of the war, the regiment returned to the Western Front. He was wounded on 7.6.1918 and again on 13.10.1918. According to your MDB, he was in the fighting at the Hermann-Stellung in Flanders from 10.10.1918 until he was captured by the French on 15.10.1918. It was fairly typical for the French to keep their EPWs until 1920. I believe they did the same after WW2, holding most of their German prisoners until 1947. 

He was decorated with the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Classes, the Hamburg Hanseatic Cross and the Wound Badge in Black.

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Hi Dave,

Many thanks for this most valuable information. Was WW 1 different from WW 2 reference the wound badge and numbers of wounds corresponding to color. Why did he only get the black when he was wounded 2-3 times?

Thanks again for your help,



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1 hour ago, KIR said:

Hi Vince,
her you will find something about him:

Personalunterlagen von Lehrkräften

Best regards,

Thank you Jens,

Now I have to figure out what it is and what it says! My German is basic at best and reading their hand writing is always a beast. If you could just give me a synopsis of what it is and says that would be awesome.

Thanks again,


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Vince, even as a relatively fluent non-native speaker of German, the handwriting gives me nightmares.  The printed Fraktur I can manage.  But the handwriting often leaves me more confused than when I started.  The more you study it the easier it is to get the gist.  But it does take time.

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1. Family information with his full name, birth, religion (evangelisch-lutheranisch) and father's name and occupation (Wilhelm Lambrecht, Schlachtermeister (master butcher) in Aurich.

2. The Reifezeugnis is the certificate on completing your secondary education for eligibility to attend a university. We don't have an equivalent in the U.S. education system. As far as I know, most Germans at the time did not take one, since they did not plan on attending college. German secondary schools were divided into college prep schools (Gymnasium) and other types which were more general or vocational. Lambrecht's was from the Gymnasium in Aurich.

3. Dates of university study. For some reason, Germans at the time typically attended several different universities. At the time there were only about 20 or so universities in the entire Empire. Semesters were divided into Ostern (Easter) and Michaelis (Michaelmas, 29. September), so the spring and fall semesters.

4. These are the examinations for candidates for teaching positions. His were in religion and German as the main subjects and philosophy as an additional subject, with a grade of "satisfactory". I have no idea what the grading scale was. He also had an additional exam in gymnastics and swimming. 

5. Additional activities in school or church service before entering the teaching career track. He taught religion in a course for university candidates in the POW camp in Montauban. The text says the course was recognized by the Prussian education ministry.

6. The Seminarjahr was the first step in the probationary period. His was at the Realgymnasium in Leer.

7.d. His seniority date of 1.10.17 is before he actually entered school service, because military time was creditable in the German civil service.

8. Date of his official permanent employment in the higher school service and seniority date for pay purposes.

11. Academic and other titles; decorations. You already have the military decorations from the MDB. His Ph.D. was from Göttingen. I'm not sure what the difference is between the promotion date (1.8.14) and the award date (1.12.14).

12. Studienrat was essentially a renaming in the 1920s of Oberlehrer, secondary school teacher, to conform to the "-rat" system used in the German civil service. He taught at the Staatliche Gymnasium in Hamm in Westfalen.

14. Military service. Again, you already have more detailed information from the MDB.

15. Title and year of any scholarly publications. In his case, this is his doctoral dissertation. You can read his here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b2619686;view=1up;seq=1 . It appears to be "On the effect of the confluence of pattern and color in cognitive performance" , but you can quibble over the exact translation. 

16. Remarks. Here it notes that he is married (verheiratet) and had three children, although the wife and eldest child are unnamed. 

Edited by Dave Danner
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Many thanks Dave. What took you minutes would have taken me months! Please tell me what you like to collect, I feel a gift is coming your way! I will not bother you for small items but may call upon your expertise again if you permit. I cannot thank you enough! Knowing what something says/means really opens my appreciation of this man and his life. It is an honor to have his documents and medals. His wife has some as well. I included a photo of the decorations that came with this grouping.

Thank you again! Your friend,



A few more docs!

1917 EK2.JPG


1920 EK1.JPG



Edited by sftrooper86
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These days, I only really collect information. I used to collect mainly WW1 decorations of the various German states, as well as wings and elite unit insignia, but I kind of lost the passion for collecting.

Thanks for your pictures! Its' a great group and it helps with another research question I had. As I mentioned above, Lambrecht's seniority date was 1.10.1917, and was backdated to account for his military service. But since based on your document, he received the Treuedienst-Ehrenzeichen on 7.3.1939, they counted the probationary periods as a teaching candidate as well as the military service toward that award. Although it still seems like he got it early. If he was a war volunteer in August 1914, in military service until 1920, a teaching candidate from 1920 to 1922, and a qualified teacher from 1922 on, he shouldn't have qualified for the Treuedienst-Ehrenzeichen until August 1939. I wonder if they accidentally double-counted the period in 1919 when he was a teacher in the POW camp as both teaching service and military service? 

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Hi Dave,

Very interesting, I always wondered how they calculated the years towards receiving these decorations. Here are a few more docs I was directed to on line. I dont know if they will explain anything additional?

Thanks again for all your help!

Your friend,






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Those are the documents I summarized above. 

According to page 4, he was a Kriegsfreiwilliger (War Volunteer) on 8.8.1914, although your MDB says 12.8.1914.  No prior service is listed, such as service as an Einjährig-Freiwilliger (one-year volunteer). As I understand it, typically, a university-bound man would receive a deferment from the regular draft and instead would serve one year later as an officer candidate, taking a year off from college or doing it right after college. Service began on either 1 April or 1 October of the year. After that year, if you were approved as an officer candidate, you would do several annual exercises as a reserve NCO and be commissioned a Leutnant der Reserve after 2-3 years. Since he finished university in September 1914, Lambrecht probably would have been a one-year volunteer that October, but since the war had already begun, he enlisted directly.

The personnel file says he was released from the Army after returning from French captivity on 15.4.1920. The MDB says 20.2.1920, but he might simply have been put on terminal leave (beurlaubt) between February and being officially ETS'd in April. In any event, based on Item 6 of the personnel file, he immediately began his probationary period as a teaching candidate (that says 1 January, but he wa s still a POW at that point, so 1 January was probably the formal reckoning date). From then on, he was a civil servant. 

So, from what I can tell, he had no prior creditable service as a soldier or civil servant before August 1914, and was from that point on either a soldier or civil servant, so he should have reached 25 years' service in August 1939. My guess is that the clerk who counted his service added up the military and civil service separately, and counted the January-June 1919 service as a teacher listed in Item 5, even though that was during his military service and should not have been double-counted. 


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Hi Dave,

All I can say is that your awesome! This is my first real quasi-complete grouping and you have made it come alive. You and others here on the forum really make collecting enjoyable by sharing your knowledge and expertise with others. I cannot thank you enough for your kind assistance. I only hope that one day I can pay it forward to another collector in some way. There are only a few more docs left to post in this group so here goes!

There is a whole area of military service that is missing from this grouping and I only know about it from the Sonderausweis dated 1941 which shows him as a Hauptman of Reserves back in the Army. Unfortunately, I only have this document and a couple of letters (1942) about his MIA Brother-in-law I think. Nothing else showing WW2 service. No wehrpass or soldbuchs came with this grouping. Do you know of any way to find out what he may have done during his WW2 Herr service?

Thanks again,





1941 as a CAPTIAN Bocholt & Stalag VI F PASS A.JPG

These are the 2 letters.






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